University of Miami Looking to Hire First Academic Chair for Atheism StudiesBy Mariel Peralta, UniversityHerald Reporter
University of Miami plans to hire an academic chair for atheism studies. Americans nowadays are increasingly leaning away from religion and the studies aim to promote enlightenment on atheism, a practice in the belief in the existence of dieties. A donor has donated millions in order to establish the chair.
University of Miami To Establish Studies Dedicated to Atheism
Retired businessman Louis J. Appignani has donated more than $2 million to the University of Miami to establish the first academic chair "for the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics." Appignani is the former president and chairman of Barbizon International and known for donating to various humanist and secular organizations, New York Times reported. He reasons that with atheism studies, there will be less discrimination against those who practice atheism.
Atheism Studies Not as Standard as Religious Studies in US Universities
Most US universities cater to religion studies but there isn't much for atheism studies. However, University of Miami's decision to accept it worthy for academics may make it more accepted in the country. Richard Dawkins, author of the book "The God Delusion" praised the University of Miami and thinks that atheism studies will shatter the borders of moralities tied only to religion.
My dear friend Lou Appignani has generously endowed a chair at the U of Miami for study of atheism & secular ethics. https://t.co/D7Er3AFXOi
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) May 20, 2016
Atheism Studies Not Officially Announced Yet at University of Miami
The chair for atheism studies has not yet been announced by the University of Miami, Miami New Times shared. University President Julio Frenk revealed that the chair for atheism studies will be part of several other academic chairs in celebration of the institution's 100 years of operation.
The topic has been controversial as University of Miami doesn't want to think that their atheism studies are intended for advocacy positions. The university's religion studies doesn't take advocacy positions when they teach about Islam or Christianity and the same will go for their atheism studies. Miami reportedly is among the top 10 highest Catholic population in the US.